As a community-focused company, Kabrita USA strives to be inclusive and to continuously celebrate diversity. In honor of Black History Month, Kabrita USA is featuring a BIPOC Parenting Series, for the entire month of February. The BIPOC Parenting Series centres BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) parents’ experiences. Our goal is to enhance greater representation of BIPOC parents in the media, as well as to amplify BIPOC voices and stories.
Today, we are sharing Bee’s story about finding forgiveness and acceptance throughout her parenthood journey, and the struggle of inequity within our society.
The journey of parenting can seem daunting! There are so many ways you can mess up, am I right? The most rewarding part, to me, is seeing myself grow and evolve through the eyes of my children. Seeing how many mistakes I make, how many times I lose control - and always finding forgiveness and acceptance in them.
I became a mother at 27. I was in a young and failing marriage and thought children would fix us. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t.) We separated and I embarked on the journey of single motherhood to 2 babies under 2 years old. I had to navigate through postpartum depression, a divorce, and raising babies, all while working to support us. I had so much help from my mother and family members, but I was very much alone. The only thing that kept me going were my children’s faces. They looked to me for everything. And I had to be everything for them. We eventually found our stride and became our own kind of family. And as the made-for-tv drama goes, I fell in love with my best friend, who also happened to be my children’s godfather. I know, I can’t make this stuff up, but it’s true! We married shortly after, and here we are now, 2 more children later, navigating our blended family life!
The uniqueness, however, is not stopping at the “happily ever after”. Our lives live on, and we are learning everyday how to deal with acceptance, misunderstandings, our views on discipline, and much more! It is a wild ride, but I am elated to be on it.
Being Black in America is already difficult. I have struggled with having to prove myself worthy in every aspect of life, especially to white people. Becoming a parent is no different. I have been looked at with pity in the grocery store alone with my 4 children. I was asked was I SURE I didn’t want to think about sterilization after I had my 2nd child. I offended a man visiting from another country when I blocked his hand from touching my son’s curly hair in the mall. The stories can go on and on. I think the hardest part, though, is the offense people take when I defend my choices or speak up against their misperceptions, as if I’m not allowed to challenge what they think they know about me and my family.
My support, first and foremost, comes from my family. Secondly, I have found community with several mothers, all different in our own stories, but all sharing the same struggles of tolerance and inequity. Some of them have biracial families, some of them are single, some of them have special needs children, some of them are struggling with infertility - the list goes on and on. What I love the most is our common goal of simply supporting one another and lifting up whoever needs it. Knowing someone hears and understands has restored my belief in community.
Many people are afraid of irrational things, like zombies or mutants taking over the world. My worst fear is someone seeing my beautiful black son as a threat and take him away from me. He’s only 7 right now, but every year he gets older, that one fear grows stronger and stronger. It fuels the way I raise him. It’s not irrational and it should be the furthest thing from my mind when I look at him. But it’s the one thought that keeps me praying for his safety.
I’m proud that my husband and I are raising such empathetic children. I’m proud of how they love people. I’m proud of how kind and thoughtful they can be. I’m proud that they see and celebrate their black skin. I’m proud that we are able to surround them with positive black icons.
If I could see one thing changed, it would be for my children to never question their worth based off the inequity of our society. If they fail at something, the basis of it would be someone worked harder, not because it wasn’t a fair fight.
My message is simply this: forgiveness is a choice. And so is awareness.
Kabrita USA BIPOC Parenting Series shares genuine stories written by parents from the BIPOC community. Each story offers a different perspective from their personal parenting experience. To read more stories, please visit our Nourish Blog.